Foreign Correspondent and Author Atia Abawi Visits USM

University School of Milwaukee welcomed award-winning foreign correspondent and author Atia Abawi on Friday, Sept. 27. Abawi visited with 9th grade English classes and spoke to all Upper School students during an afternoon assembly. Her most recent novel, “A Land of Permanent Goodbyes,” was the assigned summer reading for 9th graders and is about refugees escaping from war-torn Syria.

On Thursday, Sept. 26, Abawi attended a discussion about her latest novel, which was hosted by Boswell Books in Milwaukee. She was joined by USM Upper School faculty Samantha Adey and Kate Gay, who served as discussion facilitators. Her visit to Boswell Books was featured in an article published by the Wisconsin Muslim Journal.

Abawi’s visit was the culmination of a week of events in which 9th grade students explored the issues raised in “A Land of Permanent Goodbyes.” On Monday, Sept. 23, they watched a screening of “Refugee Kids: One Small School Takes on the World,” and on Tuesday, Sept. 24 they met with a panel of students from Milwaukee’s South Division High School who have come to the United States seeking asylum from Africa, Burma, and Syria. The visiting students toured campus and ate lunch with student leadership hosts and visited classes. In addition, Erin Barbato, director of the Immigrant Justice Clinic at the University of Wisconsin Law School, spoke to students about the process by which individuals can seek American citizenship.
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